A line from a song I heard on the radio this morning:
“Girl, your beautiful and I hope you take this the wrong way but you look better with the lights off”
From “Better with the lights off”
By New boys/ Chris B
Are you serious?
I dropped the boys off at schools and on the two minute ride back home tuned to a Top 20 radio station to see what is new. I like to try to keep a pulse on what the teens are listening to and half the time I like the music myself. I find a good workout song or two. The other half of the time, I am appalled and horrified at the message of the songs. It was a appalling morning.
The song right before it was talking about wanting a “bad girl” and “wanting it so bad- just can’t wait, I. Don’t want something invisible, I want something physical.”
Then after that catchy song, this diamond. Good Lord. I understand that the most popular thing to sing about is sex. It sells. I like a good love song and being happily married, I enjoy, um..marriage. But I know the difference between intimacy with my mate and the crap that is in most club songs.
I do, however, think there is a truth about our culture that is being sung here:
“wanting it so bad- just can’t wait, I. Don’t want something invisible, I want something physical.”
This is the cry of the culture. Teenagers (and adults) want to feel loved and sex seems like the closest thing to it. Sexual intimacy is an expression of love, but it isn’t love. Too many find out the hard way that it is no substitute for love, sex itself doesn’t fill the void – it only adds to it. Even our best try at loving each other falls so short of meeting the need of our soul, because we are broken beings, faulty humans. This need can only be meet by God. When your soul is flourishing in that love, sexual intimacy is a gift, a bonding, the glue that binds two for life.
Since most of my time is spent working with 12-18 year olds and trying to guide them through the sexual gauntlet that is our culture, songs like these tick me off.
It ticks me off for the girls who already feel inferior to the “image of perfection” that isn’t even real promoted by music, magazine and movies. Girls that are made to be loved and for them bad love is better than no love. And hearing these words is so tempting.
It ticks me off for the boys who become predators instead of protectors and who so easily fall into the lies that this is how to get love. Because boys are made to be loved too. And hearing these words is so tempting.
Tempting to believe they are true.
If we do not stand up and shout the truth about love, our culture will tell them: it is how you look on the outside and to really feel loved get in the dark.
So, what is the truth? You are loved. You are created to be loved by God. It isn’t how you look on the outside or even how others see you. Being beautiful is a product of being well loved not a way to get love. The dark is a place to hide and pretend. The light is the place to rise and shine.
This weekend we are doing a God Encounter with our teens. We will have about 20 of them who are taking time out of their culture to really look at who God is and what His plan is for sin, sex, inner healing, forgiveness, body image and wholeness. Pray for us. Pray that the darkness is destroyed by the light and God’s incomparable love shatters the lies and “lines” of our current culture.
Pray that we continue to:
Keep your eyes open, hold tight to your convictions, give it all you’ve got, be resolute, and love without stopping. (1 Corinthians 16:13, 14 MSG)